on the right, but incorrect, side of the road.
Dubrovnik to Split along the coastal road. After having to ask a local how to put our car into reverse we were on the road, changing gears with my right hand, taking every corner carefully and squealing with the occasional swearies. Croatia has a northern and a southern territory and is physically split just above Dubrovnik by Bosnian territory. So we got to drive 20 km through Bosnia and went through two border check points. Pretty fun first day in the car.
We spent the day in Split, a nice tourist town, famous for the party island Hvar nearby. It is home to Diocletian’s Palace built in 305 AD. As an Adriatic Port city, Split has been part of many empires in Europe including Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, Austrians, before becoming part of Yugoslavia and now Croatia.
Split to Krka National Park and then to Zadar. Krka was beautiful, we only walked around a small area but it was lovely. The water in the pools and waterfalls was so clear you could see the bottom.
We spent the day exploring Zadar. It is also an anciently settled city, dating back to the Stone Age. The old town is encircled by a city wall and there are remnants of a Roman Forum. Another lovely Croatian town filled with orange rooves and good beer.
Zadar to Plitvice Lakes National Park then to Rijeka. Plitvice Lakes was also beautiful. We walked around a lot more of the area in this National Park. Again the water was as clear as day and the waterfalls were amazing. Once we got to Rijeka, we didn’t get a lot of time to spend walking around unfortunately, but what we did see was cool. We sat on the water front for dinner, it was nice to be in a less touristy place.
Rijeka to Pula. Our last day in Croatia was in Pula, another old Roman town. There were a lot of beaches in Pula, so we spent the afternoon, just chillin’ on the beach. Like most of Croatia though it’s a stoney beach, so it can be quite uncomfortable to lie and walk on, but once again the water was so amazing and clear.
Krka National Park vs Plitvice Lakes National Park
Both are amazing places with unbelievably clear water. Like any National Parks there are set paths you have to follow with bits of information and signs along the way. At Krka, you walk along a small boardwalk, the entire way and everyone walks in the same direction to avoid congestion. There are plenty of small pools and wide waterfalls along the walk and at the end there is a designated area to swim in. There is a lot more to do at this park like walks up the river and a monastery in the middle of the river, we only walked the small area at the south end of the park. At Plitvice Lakes, a much larger area was easily accessible to the public so you can walk around there all day. The waterfalls are taller here and the lakes are much larger. You can take boats, buses or walk throughout the park, however you cannot swim at this park.
Krka is a lovely national park if you don’t want to walk quite as far you can still see beautiful pools and waterfalls. Plitvice is good if you’re wanting a good day out walking in a National Park and to see some lakes and big waterfalls.
We had a lovely time in Croatia. The weather was amazing and the road trip was a great way to have our own freedom while exploring the country. We had no crashes or even near misses on the trip, just a couple of dodgy gear changes and going fast on the motorway because you’re allowed to go 130km/h. WEEEE!